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Elena L. Aben & Genalyn D. Kabiling

‘I go to Japan with full trust’

President Duterte flew to Japan yesterday for a three-day official visit aimed at deepening and broadening the country’s ties with its top trading partner and one of its valued strategic allies. “I go to Japan with full trust that we can understand each other and Japan will understand my position vis-à-vis with the foreign policy that I want to implement. It’s just a question of a policy that is really truly Filipino,” the Chief Executive said in a press briefing before his departure for Tokyo. He described Japan as one of the Philippines’ “true friends.” “With Japan as the Philippines’ top trading partner, I shall seek the sustainment and further enhancement of our important economic ties. I look forward to meeting business leaders in Japan. I will tell them clearly that the …

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‘Paramilitary units in Mindanao may undermine peace process’

President Duterte has ordered the military to take full control and stop paramilitary groups from operating as the government engage in peace negotiations with different rebel groups in the country. The Chief Executive issued the directive, saying that the presence of the these civilian armed groups, earlier linked to human rights abuses committed against lumads or indigenous peoples, could "undermine" the ongoing peace initiatives. "I am now ordering the Army to take full control itong mga Bagani Command and the — there is another group I forgot the name," the President said in a speech during his visit at Camp Vicente Alagar in Cagayan De Oro City on Thursday. "Paramilitary men operating especially with firearms issued by the government would undermine the peace process. Mahinto na sana ito because we are really trying …

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Always take the side of the nation, Aquino urges AFP

President Aquino yesterday urged the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to always take the side of the nation and continue to defend and protect its people from all threats. In his final address as commander-in-chief, the President said that the AFP has performed well in the past six years and thanked the military for its service. “Ngayon, hindi na maitatangging tunay na kayong katuwang at tagapagtanggol ng mga boss – ang sambayang Pilipino. Harinawa, manatili na kaisa ng sambayanan ang Sandatahang Lakas,” he said. (Now, it cannot be denied that you are the real defenders of the boss – the Filipino people. It is my hope that you will continue to serve our people.) The AFP on Monday thanked the outgoing Commander-in-Chief for his unprecedented support to the military’s capability upgrade and …

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